I have read several books to help Christians understand suffering. This one is the best I've read in ages.
Lest we think Maples doesn't know suffering, she shares her own story. She was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus at twelve years old. She suffered a massive brainstem stroke at twenty that almost killed her. Although she learned to walk and talk again through rehabilitation, she lives every day with the challenge of chronic illness and disability. She still has a limping gait, using a cane on good days and a walker on bad ones.
I really like her attitude that it is about God's sovereignty. Either He is in control or He is not. “If God is in control, then what we know about God is more important than what we know about our circumstances.” She does an excellent job in showing how God uses the darkness of suffering for character formation, drawing us closer to Him, preparing us for something new, and more.
Maples writes about the unexpected blessing of suffering, encouraging us to know that all of God's actions are out of love, even if we do not understand them. She uses examples of biblical characters to remind us that we often do not know God's plan until we walk through the suffering in obedience.
The lessons she shares from the Bible and her own experience are insightful and practical. I really liked her insight of 2 Corinthians 6. Before Paul lists his troubles, he declares that it was the time of God's favor. Paul expected to see God in the midst of his times of suffering. What a lesson for us.
I highly recommend this book to anyone in need of encouragement for going through suffering. Maples' insight from her own suffering and her understanding of God's character will boost your faith in a loving God Who is working out His plan for your life.
Food for thought: “Maybe it doesn't matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives.”
You can find out more about the book and her amazing story at http://nikamaples.com/. You can watch her TEDx talk here.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Nika Maples was twenty years old when she had a massive brainstem stroke leaving her unable to walk, speak, even blink. Doctors told her family she had 48 hours to live. Her faith sustained her and a year later she was able to walk onto her college campus. She went on to earn a BS in mass communications and an MA in English Education. In 2007 she was named the Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. She now writes and speaks full time, sharing her story of hope and endurance across the country. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
Worthy Inspired, 240 pages. You can purchase a copy here.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.